Apalachee, Georgia, US
|Usual Difficulty||II-III (for normal flows)|
|APALACHEE RIVER NEAR BOSTWICK, GA|
|usgs-02219000||175 - 6000 cfs||II-III||00h41m||1800 cfs (running)|
Note: some of the directions below are outdated, as the access points are no longer accessible. Per a 2009 comment:
2009-01-02: Went looking for access today and found that most all roads leading anywhere near the playspot are gated and locked. Might be accessable from bridge on 441 but otherwise no other roads open to public.
2009-07-13: Went this past weekend. Put in at Price Mill Road and paddled to 441 bridge. Bit of a long drag down a big hill at Price Mill, but wasnt bad. Water flowed well first 2-3 miles but then slowed down considerably. Flowing about 61 cfs I believe. Had to pick up and drag about 5 times. Took out at 441. Washouts on access were kinda rough, but a 2wd truck made it down. Would not want to attempt this aftter a rain though. We did not paddle down any farther than 441, but in my canoe guide it talks about a take out 1 mile past 441. Local sources tell me that there is a road that leads to the river there (Old Madison Hwy??), but a timber company has gated the road about 1/4 mile from river. To my knowledge the road is still public and it will be a long drag, but free to use. I dont know how they got approval to gate a public road?
Kevin: I don't think they got approval; they just did it and it hasn't been challenged yet. Pot Leaf shoals was a classic park and play spot.
Even these access points may no longer be available. Bonnie Semora informed us on 1/18/11: I have paddled this stretch before, putting in at Hwy 441/129/24 and taking out below the stretch of rapids near the park and play spot described here. Unfortunately, it appears that is no longer possible. The access at the putin on Hwy 441 is fenced and gated. The road down to the park and play spot, Old Madison Hwy, is fenced, gated, and bulldozed. In the past, there was a lot of 4-wheeling going on at this location, and now a berm of dirt and rock is piled up to prevent access except through the gate, which is locked. It's a beautiful, fun stretch, but access is nearly impossible now.
The gauge you are looking for is the Apalachee near Bostwick gauge and between 200-400 cfs for
optimal play. Can definitely play it at both lower (absolute minimum is around 100 cfs) and
higher levels, I have played there at around 3000 cfs and beyond, but it gets way more intense
and is a huge, kind of flood stage feeling to it. The line to the right of the island opens up
then and it has a GNARLY hole on river right that will keep you in it for a long while (I found
this out myself one day) as well as some entrapment potential on the river left of it-- stay
center for best results.
At high flows, the wave mid rapid goes from being a small wave to a nice hole to, at really high flows, a great 6-7' surf wave. At higher flows, the blasting hole gets pretty unfun as the current shoves you into the rock on river left, making it more difficult to play in and at really high flows, this feature completely disappears.
At between 200-400 cfs, the park and play spot is a blast, with surfing waves, a great blasting hole, a deep eddy line for flatwater moves, several splat spots, and other features that make it worthwhile to hit when in Athens. Not a destination boating location, but a great training spot for Athens area boaters.
Directions to the Appalachee River put-in:South from Athens on Hwy 441/129/24 towards Bishop, Farmington and Madison, GA. Go through Bishop and then Farmington and once you finally see the Oconee Heritage Park on your right hand side (a big shelter-type structure sitting a ways off of the road); you will know that you are getting close.
Pass OH Park and then go about another mile or so 'til you see a fruit stand on the left
hand side of the road. Once you pass it, there will be a dirt road headed left off of 441. Turn
left on this road.
Follow this road for about 500 yards 'til you see a road headed off right (with a tire-stop sign holding thing in the intersection). Take the road going right (the good road, not the 4WD road on the far right) and follow it for about one mile till you pass all of the houses and trailers and are now in the middle of the woods.
You will by this time be going up a hill surrounded by woods on both sides. When you get to the top of this hill and just before you begin to be headed down the other side of it, you will see another dirt road headed up and right--take it. Follow this road around as it bears right and downhill. Go downhill until you see the road split left or right; follow the left line and then you will end up in a cleared area at the top of an old railroad bridge.
Park on the side of the road and head downhill, following the trail/rutted out road on the left side of the trestles. Put in there and paddle down about 200' and then head left around a small island following the main flow of the water. The rapids will then come up and just enjoy. There are play spots all down the drops that can be re-run, etc.
Also, anyone in the Athens area that wants to be put on the UGA WHITEWATER CLUB LISTSERV so that they can network with other UGA/Athens boaters, drop an email and I will add you to the list. email@example.com.
|Mile||Rapid Name||Class||Features (Legend)|
|0.0||Pot Leaf Shoals surfing wave|
|0.0||Apalachee surf Wave|
|0.0||Apalachee blasting hole||II+|